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Thread: Cutting improved - new flat surface

  1. #1
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Cutting improved - new flat surface

    I seem to remember a thread a while back about cutting mats and getting them clean, and blades wearing out, and now I can't find it, but, it did make me think that sometimes even with a fresh blade I was having trouble cutting on the table in my sewing room and the dining room table gave better results. Well, I remembered I had a great big piece of a side of an IKEA cabinet left over from the kitchen remodel. So I had Mr. Stitchnripper lug it up to the sewing room and I put it on top of the table I normally use (one of those white ones from Costco or Sam's) and put my cutting mat on top of that. Wow, what a difference. It doesn't "give" at all, very stable surface and I was able to square up my quilt in no time flat, with an old blade and one slice through!! So my takeaway message is that sometimes the middle of our tables give a little when we are cutting and the blade doesn't make the best of contact so we have to go over it multiple times. I'm pleased right now!!
    Alyce

  2. #2
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    An "aha" moment!

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    good tip
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
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  4. #4
    Super Member GEMRM's Avatar
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    I have a very old oak desk that I use for my cutting table, and one area is a little lower than the other. If I cut in this area I sometimes have a problem... I know this logically, but sentimentally I'm still using the old desk...lol
    A husband is the perfect confidant to tell your secrets to - he can't reveal them to anyone else because he wasn't really listening when you told him!

  5. #5
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    A proper cutting surface is a necessity. If you use old or new it has to be even and sturdy.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  6. #6
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    I sometimes like to cut ontop of my ironing board, which also has a dip in the center, so I glued a cutting mat to one of those half inch thick white plastic cutting boards. They were almost exactly the same size. Now that mat is really portable and works anywhere I want to use it even ontop of my ironing board. Another problem with a wavy cutting surface is that you will get inaccurate cuts.

  7. #7
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    It's amazing how something like that makes things easier. Thanks for sharing
    Lori

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  8. #8
    Member vlrigdon's Avatar
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    WOW! I read this board every day, learn and admire - but LOVE this tip! I'm cutting on one of those white plastic tables and I bet this is my issue! Multiple swipes, new blades needed too often. When I bring my mat and cut on the kitchen island, I do enjoy it more - now I know why.
    "Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy!"

  9. #9
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    This thread got me to thinking (always a good thing!) Whenever I cut on my granite kitchen counter top I get good, clean cuts but when I cut on my cutting table I always seem to have problems.

    So I got out a big level and did some investigating - sure enough, my cutting table top is not completely level; there is a dip in the middle. I am pondering what to do about it but it is nice to know that for once it was not me that was the problem.

  10. #10
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    I have a craft table with two large leaves that open out from a center cabinet. The leaves are supported by wheeled pull out vertical panels that put a swing out support on a diagonal from next to the center cabinet to the outer edge of a leaf. I used it for a long time.

    After a while, no matter how careful I was with cutting, there was always an unwanted curve in my cut fabric. So I finally stood back and evaluated the table. I noticed that each leaf was curved downward from where the support was on the leaf to the edge of the leaf. After examining my cutting board, I saw that it was no longer flat. It conformed to the curve of the leaf.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The craft table is now used (leafs down) as a coffee station in the kitchen. Half of the dining room table is now my cutting table, new mats were purchased, and I lucked into a used Accuquilt Studio.

    My quilts are straighter because my cutting is better. Purchasing dies for the Accuquilt cost me a small fortune on sale, but they are worth every cent paid for them.
    A quilt is like a good life. It's full of mistakes, but, in the end, it looks pretty good.

  11. #11
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    You're welcome! The cutting mat I glued to the kitchen cutting board has a 12" by 18" cutting area.

  12. #12
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    I put a piece of plywood on top of the dippy-middle plastic table....now level!

  13. #13
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    My current cutting surfaces are the kitchen table (hubs made), a 28"x48" 1/2" thick piece of plywood on 2 pocket base cabinets in my sewing room at just below the elbow height. Can be easily be moved since it isn't attached but heavy enough doesn't slide easily.

  14. #14
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    Thanks for letting us know how important a flat surface is to quilters.
    Penny

  15. #15
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    The other thing too is that not all mats are created equally. I bought the large fold out sewing table from JoAnn's a while back and I also bought the mat to cover it, about 60in long or more. I was so excited. Then I started having problems cutting with my brand new cutter. I knew my cutter was good, I watched them demo it. I don't know what made me think of it but I put my other mat on top of the new one, no more problems. I tried this a few times. It seems the mat after only using it a few times wasn't self healing like it said. To say the least it no longer gets used except for a protector for the table. Talk about wasted money. It was expensive too.
    Judy

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